Milan Design Week 2019 [Fuorisalone Diary Day 1]

When I went to Milan to attend Salone Del Mobile with C.P Hart Bathrooms last year,  I was blown away by the sheer scale and size of it. And then I started exploring Fuorisalone - the events that take place around Milan on the same week as Salone Del Mobile, and OH MY GOD... I was utterly inspired and vowed to go back the following year.

The official event count this year was 1351 across eight design districts and I imagine there are many more unofficial ones too. It's overwhelmingly huge, and spread over the city in several different areas, so it's advisable to have a plan if you have specific things you want to see. Equally if you're not into planning, just hit a different design district or two each day and wander and you'll stumble upon things, also see if anything that grabs your attention on instagram and add it to your list!

Most of it is entirely walkable (if you're a keen walker!) or easily doable on the metro.

French For Pineapple Blog - Milan Design Week Diary Day 1 - Fuorisalone
The eight design districts - map courtesy of Fuorisalone


I think there are a couple of myths surrounding MDW and I thought it might be helpful to wade in on that.

Myth One: It's elitist.

No it's not. Although there are many press only and invitation only events and parties, almost all exhibitions are open to the public for most of the week after the initial press only previews, and are free to get into. You don't have to be in the industry and you don't have to have any credentials - you can just be an interested anyone. It's not scary - promise! The exception to that was the Versace installation (perhaps unsurprisingly!) which we had to blag our way into. They're big on business cards generally, which seems ridiculous as you and I know they literally mean nothing, but would actually be really helpful. Note to self to make sure I have some made before next year because they would have come in handy. And yes, it will probably take me all year to get around to it.

Myth Two: It's obscenely expensive.

It doesn't have to be. Of course if you choose to stay at a beautiful hotel it will be, and the tales are true about huge price hikes for accommodation during design week, but honestly, you don't need the glamorous hotel if like me you're just going to sleep there each night for a few hours before getting up and pounding the pavements again. Do some research and book your hotel early or get a group together and book an Airbnb well in advance.

I think those are the two main myths. It's not expensive to eat and drink there either - depending on where you go of course, and it can absolutely be done on a tight budget. Flights are also pretty cheap if you're happy to fly with not-so-easyJet.

So don't let the myths get in the way of going and soaking up all that incredible inspiration next year! Because if you're a design lover, you too will return with a head full of inspiration, a camera / phone bursting with beautiful images, probably a blister or three on your weary feet, achy legs and possibly in need of an alcohol detox. Or is that just me?

Right, let's get down to the details. I thought that rather than writing a trend report, that I'd break it down into a daily diary of what I did, what I loved, tips and hacks, and of course lots of trend alerts too. There will be an instalment every day this week - one for every day I was there.

DAY ONE:


I was invited to go to Milan a day earlier than I'd originally planned with the Ikea press team to attend the launch of their SYMFONISK collaboration with Sonos, rather handily alongside my friend Lisa Dawson, so I gate-crashed her hotel at Gatwick the night before to save myself from having to get up horrifically early for our 9am flight to Malpensa.

French For Pineapple Blog - Milan Design Week Diary 2019 - Day 1 - Fuorisalone

Despite best laid plans, delays meant we ended up dropping our bags at the hotel and heading straight to the event location in the Tortona area and it didn't disappoint! Following really interesting talks about sound and light by leading sound consultant Martin Hallberg, Chronobiologist Anna Wirz-Justice, Bjorn Block (Business and Development Leader, Ikea Home Smart, Ikea) Tad Toulis (Vice President of Design, Sonos) the new designs were officially launched.

There had already been press images circulating of the book-shelf speaker, but it was the first time the table lamp with speaker was allowed to be shown publicly. Rumour has it that these two products that so cleverly integrate sound into home furnishings, will not be the last from this partnership. It's such an exciting collaboration - the book-shelf speakers which will retail for £99 when they hit the stores in August will work brilliantly in so many rooms including (I think!) kids rooms. The table lamp speakers would be amazing bedside lamps for grown-ups (or very lucky kids), and will retail for £179.

French For Pineapple Blog - Milan Design Week Diary 2019 - Day 1 - Fuorisalone

After the Ikea launch excitement it was time for a stroll around Tortona to look at some other installations. First stop was ex.t to drool over some beautiful matt black and brass bathroom taps, and matt ceramics in soft fleshy nudes and whites.

French For Pineapple Blog - Milan Design Week Diary 2019 - Day 1 - Fuorisalone

Wandering is often the best way of seeing some fab but unplanned spots and we stumbled upon an area of exhibits which included this lovely space showcasing the new Rafael outdoor furniture collection for Ethimo designed by Paola Navone, a gorgeous plant and flower shop, and as you can always expect in Milan, some stunning lighting.

French For Pineapple Blog - Milan Design Week Diary 2019 - Day 1 - Fuorisalone


French For Pineapple Blog - Milan Design Week Diary 2019 - Day 1 - Fuorisalone

French For Pineapple Blog - Milan Design Week Diary 2019 - Day 1 - Fuorisalone
Mario Tsai 'Mazha' Light

The Mario Tsai installation was brilliant with huge pieces including the 'Mazha' light, and right next door The Mumoon installation featured lighting by various designers including the Cosmonaut lamps by Dos Signorotto Design (LOVE!), and the Hold modular lighting system, also by Mario Tsai.

French For Pineapple Blog - Milan Design Week Diary 2019 - Day 1 - Fuorisalone
Mario Tsai 'Hold' Modular Lighting, Mario Tsai 'Mazha' Light, Dos Signorotto 'Cosmonaut' Lamps

French For Pineapple Blog - Milan Design Week Diary 2019 - Day 1 - Fuorisalone

British Sculptor Alex Chinneck's unzipped building facade was an incredible sight when walking into the Opificio 31 exhibition area.

Then it was well and truly time for a spritz and food at Osteria Del Binari - beautiful traditional interiors and food to match. I *may* have had to be rolled home after eating more than my fair share of antipasti, Milanese Risotto and Osso Bucco.

French For Pineapple Blog - Milan Design Week Diary 2019 - Day 1 - Fuorisalone

Trend Alerts:

Marble / Neutrals & Fleshy Pinks / Statement Lighting / Monochrome / Black Taps / Brass

Top Tips:

You can fly into Malpensa or Linate. Linate is closer to the city centre. Since this is my diary rather than a complete Milan travel guide I'm focussing on my experience, so this information is based on flying into Malpensa which is what I've done both years.

Airport Transfers: You can get a coach or train into central Milan. The coach is around €14 for a return ticket and takes less than an hour and they run pretty regularly. The express train is €20 return and takes 52 minutes. Both will take you to Milano Centrale which is then either a walk or metro ride to pretty much all destinations. Taxis are much more pricey - currently a fixed price of €95.

Left Luggage: If you think you'll need to use the left luggage on your last day (believe me, you do NOT want to be carting your bags around all day and in and out of exhibitions) don't use the one at the station that has crazy queues, but you can pre-book this one which is a few minutes walk away to avoid the massive queues at the station itself and to avoid missing out. It's currently €2.49 for an hour and €10.49 for four. Make sure you use an email address you can access as I didn't get a text message as promised and you need the code to open your locker again. It's all automated and un-manned (though there is an emergency button to communicate with them). The lockers are quite big - a small one fits 2 cabin sized suit cases and a large one will fit four.

Metro: The metro is easy to use, efficient and cheap! It's €4.50 for 24 hours or €8.50 for a three day ticket. You can use that ticket everywhere on the Metro, but if you're going out to Rho Fiera (the location of Salone Del Mobile) you will need to purchase a separate ticket.

Steps: 12,539

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post - I was under no obligation to write about for Ikea x Sonos, though I was hosted by them during my first day and a half.

All images are copyright Bianca Hall except where noted. Please be a good human and make sure you credit and link / tag me if you use them.

Come back tomorrow for my Day Two diary instalment!



Revamp Restyle Reveal: Study / Guest Room Reveal [Season 3]

[Ad: Contains links to, and mentions of products and brands who have sponsored this project as listed at the bottom of this post]

IT'S REVEAL DAY! WHOOP!! If you've come over from Lisa Dawsons' blog (thank you and HELLO to any new readers!), how AMAZING is her bathroom?! A hard act to follow that's for sure!

It's so exciting to be Revealing my new study come guest room today, alongside nine other supremely talented bloggers.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

I should start by saying that there was nothing 'wrong' with this room, but my son Baxter had moved into a different room upstairs in the loft conversion, that used to be the guest room, and the plan was for this room to become a cosy study that doubles as a guest room. You can see what it used to look like when it was

Baxter's bedroom here

.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

I had given up my office and had been working here there and everywhere around the house, but it just wasn't conducive to getting work done - I'm easily distracted, so a designated work zone really is necessary for me, so this room needed to be a dual-purpose, hard-working room, in spite of its size (which is approximately 2.5m x 3m).

Despite the fact that the photos would have you believe that this room is bright and light, in reality, it's quite a dark room that often feels dingy depending on the levels of natural light on a given day. I wanted to go with a neutral palette in here so that it felt more cohesive with the rest of the house which has been heading that way over the last year or two, but feared that a pale neutral would just look grubby and not at all help with the dingy-factor (technical term, obvs!).

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

I'm not a fan of dark interiors generally speaking, though I love many a dark room in photographs, my real life experience of them has not been positive. My short-lived black bedroom was a huge mistake from the get-go, and I felt like I was living in a depressing cave more than a chic bedroom. And lets face it, I do actually

live

in my house, so although I obviously like it to

look

good in photos, I need to

feel

happy in it too.

I suspect that's why the move back to the light side has begun if my instagram feed is anything to go by, but that's a whole other story. Or blog post as the case may be.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

But this room was crying out for a dark colour - they definitely have their place, so I opened my mind to it again and took a look at the darker tones that Zoffany had to offer. Besides, the two rooms I'd previously painted dark and really not liked were both South facing rooms with abundant natural, light, not north facing darker rooms, so I took the plunge! The current theory in paint colour choices is that you should work with and not against the natural light available in any room, so keep naturally lighter rooms light, and go darker where there is less natural light.

I fell in love with this chocolatey brown called Cobblestone by Zoffany. It's a beautiful colour that can look grey or deep olive in different lights. It's simply stunning, and once I found it, I knew I was on the right track and my doubts totally disappeared. It's actually not super super dark, but it does make the room feel really cosy and inviting.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

Once I stripped all the wallpaper and prepped the walls, I painted the colour all over - a colour wash of the lovely Cobblestone. The ceiling is low and slopes above the sofa, and there is no cornicing, so painting it all the same colour makes the ceiling blend in rather than having a high contrast white ceiling which would be distracting in this room. I also painted all the woodwork in the Acrylic Eggshell version of the same colour, and I have to say that Zoffany paint is a dream to use. Amazing coverage and even the Acrylic Eggshell wasn't in the least bit sticky. Two coats on everything did the trick!

I was ridiculously excited to get rid of the old radiator and replace it with this absolute beauty from soak.com. This is a relatively new addition to their already great range of radiators and I just love the black finish which is perfect against the Cobblestone walls. This room has always been noticeably colder than any other room in the house with it's two external walls, single glazing and probably not enough insulation anywhere including the roof. It's positively warm and cosy now, and that makes me very happy indeed.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room
Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

Then it was time to start bringing in the furniture. I breathed a massive sigh of relief when the sofa was delivered and did indeed fit through the door - with a whole centimetre to spare. PHEW!

I chose the stunning Andes Futon Sofa Bed from West Elm our headline sponsor, and not only is it a beautiful shape, and the perfect foil to the dark walls, with a creamy/grey flecked fabric, but it has a 'click-clack' mechanism allowing the back to lie completely flat to be used as a double guest bed.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

I also like the idea of being able to work from the sofa in if I don't feel like sitting at my desk, but still being in my work zone. It was love at first sight with the round cushions which finish it off nicely, adding that extra bit of comfort and interest, but keeping the tones similar means it doesn't feel at all busy. Calm and cosy is the name of the game in this room. The beautiful quilted blanket is by Harlequin from the Style Library, and I predict arguments over it already - between me, the cat and the kids.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

And speaking of my desk, I'm quite besotted with this gorgeous mid-century style number that ticks all my boxes. Desks are quite tricky I think, and I wanted something that was a good size, with some drawers, but that didn't feel too heavy in the room. This is perfect and I love this new 'Pebble' colour too - a beautiful beigey-grey with the most beautiful grain, and the hardware is an antique bronze finish that just oozes quiet grown-up glam. Perfect.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room
Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room
Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

I couldn't be happier with my new RBM Noor desk chair from Flokk, it's SO comfortable, and such a gorgeous shape - the woodgrain being off-set beautifully by the wool seat. Black aluminium  connects the base and legs and has a just a hint of the industrial about it - such a gorgeous piece. Flokk has a brilliant

configuration platform

, so you can design your own dream chair and see exactly how it will look, choosing from 14 shell colours, loads of different fabrics, and various leg options too - it's such a cool tool. They're also really passionate about sustainability, so the chairs are made from recycled and recyclable materials.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room
Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

Sat upon my desk is a white Sonos One speaker which makes me very happy indeed. I'm not exaggerating when I say that Sonos speakers have changed my life. I may be behind the technological times, but music streaming really does still blow my mind! Now that we have a Sonos One in the study, I can link it with the kitchen and living room speakers to have my music streaming throughout if I want to. They're super easy to link and unlink (literally just hold the play/pause button down for a second or two), meaning that Ed can listen to his Talk Sport in the kitchen, and more importantly, that I don't have to.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room
Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

The Sonos one also has built-in Alexa so it's the perfect painting companion with hands-free music control - not to mention saving ones sanity!

It was so important to get the lighting right in this room. With the dark walls, I wanted it to feel cocooning at night, with several light sources. My electrician replaced the previous pendant with a three armed Antler pendant from David Hunt Lighting (check out their website for a really cool video demonstrating how the make the 'Antlers' - so fascinating).

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room
Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

In one corner I added the absolutely stunning Apache marble lamp also from David Hunt which is teamed with an Ivory linen shade from The Light Shade Studio - a match made in heaven! It's probably wrong to love a lamp as much as I love this one.

There's a gorgeous little 'Clint' lamp from West Elm on the Mid Century storage tower in the opposite corner (the unit has the added bonus of three drawers under the three shelves for more storage) and my desk lamp too. Not going to lie, I keep getting distracted from my work because it's so damn lovely to look at. See? Lamp addiction issues.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room
Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

The Hot and Cold Dyson fan from ao is a god-send. Not only is it VERY handily a heater

and

a cooling fan, but it's an air purifier too. And a very clever one at that. It can tell you exactly what pollutants it has taken from the air via the app. Amazing technology. I love the fact that it's instant heat - especially handy when you can't wait for the heating to warm the room up on those freezing winter mornings, and of course to cool it down when summer finally hits.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room
Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room
Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

To throw some more light around, we have the oversized Iris mirror also from soak.com above the sofa. It instantly made the room feel twice the size. Ah the magic of mirrors! And its black metal frame ties in with the finish of the radiator too.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

And of course, light is is important, but so is darkness and privacy. As this room will also double as a guest room, so I needed a lovely window covering and The Blind Shop came to the rescue. I chose a beautiful heavy herringbone fabric in the 'Seashell' colour and it's perfect with the other tones in the room. It's blackout lined and I had it made slightly wider than the window frame and installed above, so that it makes the window look bigger and doesn't block out any light when pulled right up. It's so well made and finishes off the room so beautifully.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room
Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

At the eleventh hour I decided that I needed a pin-board above my desk, for both inspiration and organisational purposes, but most pin-boards are so ugly! I was in the process of making a wall of fabric covered pin-boards for Baxter's new bedroom and had some of the board left over, so I decided to make a smaller one for my study too. I cut a piece of insulation board to around 60 x 90 cms, and covered it in a textured Prism Plain from Harlequin at Style Library in Particle Safari which again tones in with the wall colour beautifully. I secured it to the wall with mirror screws and screw caps in a bronze finish to hid the screws and I'm so happy with how it turned out. Such a satisfying DIY.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room
Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room
Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

A trip to a Dobbies Garden Centre was the final step in finishing off this room and I picked up a selection of indoor plants including a really good sized fig and a snake plant for my desk (two of my favourites), and some really lovely textured concrete pots for them too. I was super impressed with their pots in fact - they had such a great range in loads of different sizes.

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

If you can't already tell, I'm so happy with how the whole room has turned out - exactly as I'd imagined it. Maybe even better, and you can't ask for more than that!

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

Here are all the products used in my room:

West Elm

Sofa - 

Andes Double Futon - Stone (Twill)

Cushions - 

Cotton Canvas Round Cushions - Platinum & Stone White

Shelving Unit - 

Storage Tower - similar here

Desk - 

Mid Century Desk - Pebble

Desk Lamp - 

Curvilinear Mid-Century Table Lamp

Lamp on Shelving Unit - 

Clint Mini Task Lamp

Sonos

Speaker - 

Sonos One

David Hunt Lighting / The Light Shade Studio

Chandelier - 

Antler Bleached 3 Light Pendant

Marble Lamp - 

Apache Marble Table Lamp

Style Library

Wall Colour

Zoffany Elite Emulsion - Cobblestone

Woodwork 

Zoffany Acrylic Eggshell - Cobblestone

Pinboard Fabric -

Harlequin Prism Plains Textures - Particle Safari

Throw on Sofa -

Demoiselle Quilted Blanket

ao

Fan -

Dyson Pure Hot + Cold HP04 Air Purifier

Flokk

Desk Chair -

RBM Noor

Dobbies Garden Centres

Various indoor plants and planters available

online and in store

soak.com

Mirror -

Iris Round Mirror

Radiator -

Black Vertical Colosseum Traditional Radiator

The Blind Shop

Made to measure Roman Blind in Herringbone Seashell

I didn't have any need for tiles in my room, but do check out

Ca Pietra

for the most stunning selection!

Revamp Restyle Reveal wouldn't be possible without our incredible sponsors who we are so proud to have supporting us. Every single product I've received for my room is the most amazing quality that I would 100% have in my home - sponsored or not!

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3 - French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

West Elm

soak.com

Style Library

Flokk

Dobbies Garden Centres

Sonos

Ca Pietra

David Hut Lighting / The Light Shade Studio

ao

The Blind Shop

And of course, Lisa and I enlist the best of the best bloggers, with incredible flair and passion for interiors - not to mention a keenness for DIY. They're also *slight* gluttons for punishment as a huge amount of work and dedication is required to take part, so THANK YOU to all of you for being utterly brilliant. Please do go and check them all out - there are links to all of the other nine reveal posts below, but start with the lovely

Ross & Ian over at Our 30's Fixer Upper

 to check out their gorgeous updated kitchen and entryway, and follow the blog hop on from there!

Here's the full list so you don't miss anyone out...

Lisa Dawson - Family Bathroom

French For Pineapple - Study / Guest Room

Our 1930's Fixer Upper - Kitchen & Entryway

Tamsyn Morgans - Attic Space

Design Sixty Nine - Living Room

Daniela Tasca York - Bedroom & Ensuite

Rock n Roll Bride - Dark & Cosy Snug

Luke Arthur Wells - Office

Lust Living - Monochrome Hallway

Matthew Shaw - Master Suite

Thanks so much for reading and for following along - we hope you've enjoyed it as  much as we have! Right, I'm off to sleep for a week before starting my next project. Oh okay, maybe a glass of celebratory fizz first!

Revamp Restyle Reveal Season 3!

Today marks the launch of the third season of Revamp Restyle Reveal! And it's with much excitement and if I'm honest, relief that today our ten amazing DIY bloggers (if I do say so myself!), will start work on their RRR spaces.

A huge amount of planning goes into each season, we work away for months behind the scenes before we launch each season, so it's pretty satisfying to see all that work come to fruition!

We make sure that we have a fabulous group of bloggers with a wide range of styles so that there's something to inspire most tastes, and obviously it's important that they have a strong creative flair and that they're not afraid of a bit of DIY!

We have a really strong team this season! If you haven't already seen, this is who is with us...

>

Clockwise from top left:

Ross & Ian (Our 1930's Fixer Upper), Tamsyn Morgans, Matthew Shaw, Kat Williams (Rock n Roll Bride), Malcolm Begg (Design Sixty-Nine), Olivia Silk (Lust Living), Luke Arthur Wells, Daniela Tasca-York, and your hostesses with the mostest Lisa Dawson and yours truly.

I'll be turning what was Baxter's bedroom into a cosy study which will double as a guest room and I'm super excited to bring this vision to life!

I feel like the whole house is coming together and for this first time, it's feeling really cohesive throughout. Well at least it will when this room is finished. I'll be stripping the old wallpaper, and painting it a deep dark taupe, and ramping up the drama with lots of lamps to make this dingy room into an inviting cosy yet elegant space for me to work in by day, and by night for any overnight guests. Make sure you're following me on Instagram for story updates throughout the month. Of course Revamp Restyle Reveal wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the support of our brilliant sponsors! This season we are so proud to have another incredible group...

West Elm (Headline Sponsor), soak.com, Style Library, Flokk, Dobbies, Sonos, Ca' Pietra, David Hunt Lighting, The Blind Shop, ao.com

Make sure you're following everyone to see their progress over the next four weeks. The finished rooms will be revealed on each bloggers blog at 11am on Tuesday 2nd of April! Don't worry, we'll remind you a 'few' times. If you want to know more about Revamp Restyle Reveal and how it all works, Lisa has written a comprehensive post over on her blog here, including information about our blogger submission / selection process.

Right then, I'd better get a move on, that room isn't going to paint itself!

The Kids Room Plans [Yes, again!]

[Promotional Partnership with West Elm]

If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that a LOT of changes are brewing in our house. And if you've been following me for any length of time, you'll know that I absolutely thrive on change, so I'm *pretty* excited about what's to come over the next few months!

When we did our loft conversion when I was pregnant with Baxter, it was always our intention for that floor to eventually be the kids zone. It's why we decided to break up the space into two bedrooms and a small bathroom, rather than one big space with an ensuite. Up until now, that floor of the house has been dreadfully underused to put it mildly. My last attempt to change that was by giving the TV room a lovely overhaul for Revamp Restyle Reveal, but even then we failed to use the room other than a handful of times.

Although moving the kids up there at this point in time was not the plan - I have only just finished both their bedrooms after all - it suddenly made sense. They're both old enough now to be what feels like much further away, and Edie in particular loves the privacy being up there brings, and as for Baxter, well he's the most laid-back child you could ever meet, and likes the idea of it, although I suspect he just wants to be near his sister. So, apparently it's time!

Of course they both seem to take after me, and so as soon as it was suggested, they wanted to move immediately. And who am I to argue - I love a change more than most! However, this has thrown the house into quite an extreme state of chaos, as I started selling and giving away a few pieces of furniture that wouldn't work in their new rooms possibly a few weeks prematurely, leaving Edie without much storage, and Baxter without a wardrobe or bed!

I'm slowly but surely bringing it back around, and by the end of next week, Edie's room will be 98% finished and all things going to plan, so will Baxter's.

So what are my plans?

Both kids want to go quite pared back. Edie wants her room to feel light and bright and to keep it quite simple and grown up, and Baxter hilariously wants to get rid of literally all his toys and just keep his books, his tablet and Cleo (our crazy cat) as his entertainment. He is the least materialistic child I've ever come across. Not that I would, but I could literally give away all his belongings and it wouldn't phase him one single bit.

Needless to say we've been having, and  will continue to have some huge clearouts! I think I'll be making several trips a week to the local charity shops over the coming month.

The Details...

Edie's room was already painted a lovely soft warm white called Marbles by Earthborn Paints, and thankfully I had just enough left over to paint the two end walls once I stripped the wallpaper. It's actually my favourite room in the house with such beautiful light, and really doesn't need much decorating to be honest, so we're keeping it super simple. We've kept the decorative moulding which just adds that bit of interest without being too rowdy. It's all that room needs. Other than some furniture obviously!

French For Pineapple Blog Kids Room Plans


She's been sleeping up there for a maybe two weeks now despite the lack of furniture (her drawers have gone, and her old wardrobe is too big), so just her bed and some new bedside tables have made the cut. On Thursday some beautiful new pieces from West Elm are arriving, and then she just needs some roman blinds and her room will be complete.

Baxter's room is a little more complex. It's the smallest bedroom in the house (not that he cares!), so I really wanted to be smart about making the most of the space. That meant going down the bespoke built-in route, which is neither cheap nor quick it turns out, but I know that it will not only look great, but will be a long-term investment that will work for him for many years to come.

He will have a raised platform bed, bringing the top height of his mattress to about 85cms (his window height). Under the base will be three simple cupboards with a single shelf inside for clothes (and if he wants to keep any toys - though he's adamant he doesn't!), and they will be about 40cms deep. So as not to waste any valuable space, there will be a hatch under the mattress to allow access to the back section which will be storage for things we don't need to access very often like boxes of paperwork and old photos / keepsakes etc.

French For Pineapple Blog Kids Room Plans


Continuing on from his bed, a shelf / desk the same height as the window will run right along the window wall, to the wall opposite his bed. How that is used now (probably just a book/display shelf), may differ from how it's used in future, and I may eventually get him a tall office chair so he can use it as a little desk with a view of the gardens below too. He really likes that idea and what will be his birdseye view from his yet to be built bed!

So that's the plan. This week I need to choose a paint colour and get his room painted before his new bed and desk/shelf are installed next week. And I've also decided to make a fabric covered pin board for him that will be on the wall next to his bed. I have some grand lighting plans too, but we'll see what the electrician says before I bother filling you in on all that!

More details to come on all the pieces in their rooms when I share the space with you, but I just wanted to give you an idea of the direction I'm taking before the big reveals in a few weeks time.

I hope you like their new room plans, I feel like they're more in-keeping with the rest of the house and actually with their personalities too. I keep referring to Baxter's room as his Gentleman's Den because it looks so grown up on the moodboard, but throw a star wars figurine or three, and a Batman clock into the mix, and I think it will be age-appropriate whilst being super easy to update too as his interests change.

And what's to become of the rooms they've now vacated I hear you ask? Well there are even more exciting plans on the horizon which I'll tell you about very soon!




New Industrial [Howdens Kitchen Design Trends for 2019]

[This is a paid partnership with Howdens]

Making big design decisions for your kitchen can be daunting - the pressure to get it right is pretty immense as it's not like choosing a wall colour that can easily be changed if you decide it's not right - there are many decisions to be made from the colour and style of your cabinets, to the floor and work surfaces, right down the all important details like tap and handle finishes and styles.

Greenwich Super Matt Graphite

Howdens have created a kitchen trends book for 2019, featuring four trends - Solace, New Industrial, Vogue and Urban Wild. You can download it from the Howdens website and it's a fantastic guide to help you really hone in on your style and create a cohesive look that you'll love for years to come.

Fairford Charcoal

What I love about the New Industrial trend in particular is that it's quite dramatic but unlike traditional industrial looks, it's been really warmed up and softened with natural wood tones and warm metallics, which make a functional space inviting and cosy.

I love the Fairford Shaker style units as a base for this look in charcoal, with a wood grain finish. This look is all about moody colours and texture, so these are a great base from which to build your finished design.

1. Black Square Knob 2. Lyx Wall Light - Mullan Lighting 3. Hubsch Leather Hook Wall Mounted Shelf - Smallable 4. Lamona Black Granite Sink 5. Fairford Charcoal Cabinet Door 6. Solid Oak Block Worktop 7. Grey Chevron Laminate Flooring 8. White Marble Effect Worktop 9. Lamona Alvo Single Lever Tap in Brushed Brass 10. Emma Lacey Black Everyday Mug 11. Deco Handle Trays - West Elm

For worktops, think marble look or solid oak block (or why not opt for a mixture of the two!) to further enhance the look with more movement and texture, and to contrast against a darker base unit.

Open kitchen shelving is hugely popular, and for good reason - it helps the room to feel bigger whilst providing a place to display pretty pieces. Consider wooden shelves with tan leather brackets which tie in beautifully with this look, the rawness of the leather balances any hard edges whilst adding more texture. The trick is to keep the open shelves ordered and store less attractive pieces hidden away cupboards. Perfectly imperfect ceramics are both beautiful and practical to use and to display on open shelves.

Fairford Charcoal

Lighting is super important in kitchens - more so than any other room in the house. Good bright overhead lighting is essential for preparation and cooking, but come evenings when the cooking is done, kitchens often become more social spaces and it's a great idea to have secondary lighting on a separate circuit. Whether this is for pendant lights over an island or wall lights (or both), it's these lights that will provide a welcoming ambience and take the lighting from purely practical to atmospheric. Don't forget to make sure these lights are on a dimmer switch.

Greenwich Gloss Slate Grey

I particularly love wall lights in kitchens, as not only do they offer that all important ambience, but they elevate the space from plain to interesting, and lend an air of subtle glamour. I've put together a couple of favourites that all tie in beautifully with the New Industrial look.

1. Hector Medium Pleat Wall Light - Original BTC  2. Corrugated Glass Wall Sconce - French Connection  3. Lyx Adjustable Wall Light - Mullan Lighting   4. Matt Black Funnel Light - Dyke & Dean  5. Hyde Single Wall Light in Brass - David Hunt Lighting  6. Anglepoise Original 1227 Wall Light in Brass - The Conran Shop  7. Arc Wall Sconce - Spark & Bell  8. Smith Metal Wall Light - Maisons du Monde  9. Antique Brass Wall Light - Cox & Cox

For flooring I love a wood look in a kitchen, so the Rustic Chestnut Oak Fast Fit Flooring or the Grey Chevron Laminate Tile Flooring is perfect, but that said the Concrete laminate looks great with this look too and doesn't feel cold underfoot.

Burford Paintable

The key to really nailing this look is to limit the colour palette which keeps things from getting too busy, whilst adding plenty of mixed textures to stops it from being boring. Think moody soft blacks and charcoals, to deep muted greens and blues, then add in your choice of metallics to lift and enhance with their light reflective qualities. I'm a brass fan personally, but go with your heart and don't be afraid to mix metals too!